Over the last couple of years, we have featured a number of ghostly tales passed down through the generations of UMD students here on Terrapin Tales, so this October we thought we’d finish out the list and share some old favorites with you too! Check back each Wednesday during October for a spooky story, and see what we save for our Halloween post! You can find previous years’ installments elsewhere on our blog, and you can even follow along on the university’s ghost tour. Be sure to use Google Chrome when you are out and about for the best results!
Our first installment for 2015 features three of the shorter ghost tales. First up, Easton Hall. This dormitory on North Hill was constructed in 1965 and named for the county seat of Talbot County, Maryland. It is allegedly haunted by the ghost of a student who committed suicide in the dorm during the early 1990s.
Easton Hall, c. 1965
Closer to the center of campus, you will find two other haunted sites, Tawes Hall and The Stamp.
Postcard of the Tawes Fine Arts Building, 1960s
The Tawes Fine Arts Building, named for J. Millard Tawes, governor of Maryland from 1958 to 1966, was completed in 1965 and served as the home for all the performing arts on campus before the 2001 opening of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. It houses a number of specialized facilities, including a large theater, and is currently the home for the Department of English; the Comparative Literature, Professional Writing, and Creative Writing programs; UMTV; and the Writing Center. Over the years, within the walls of Tawes Theater, students have performed such creepy and disturbing plays as “Dracula,” “Frankenstein,” “The Crucible,” and of course the most notorious of haunted and ill-fated plays, “Macbeth.” Footsteps echo throughout the theater when no one else is there. This presence, as well as practical jokes and other unexplained occurrences, are all attributed to a mischievous ghost named Mortimer. Read more about Mortimer, in a March 1983 Diamondback article here and here.
Named in 1983 for the university’s first Dean of Women, Adele Hagner Stamp, the Stamp Student Union originally opened in 1955. The Union serves over 16,000 visitors per day and is home to many specialized facilities that serve the campus community—the bookstore, a bank branch, bowling alley, movie theater, food court, Mailboxes, Etc., large meeting rooms, and the offices for numerous student organizations. The Union has undergone numerous expansions and renovations, creating a vast maze of various floors, oddly connected hallways, strange stairways, and confusing floor plans that lead visitors to unexpected destinations. While navigating the building, visitors have encountered elevators that move suddenly on their own and abrupt, unexplained cold spots that can chill one to the bone. Many attribute these odd occurrences to spirits that haunt the building.
Adele H. Stamp Student Union. Photo by the Mavises.
You can check out all 14 spooky sites on campus using the online Campus Ghost Tour, which you can access using Google Chrome.